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Divinity is the study of
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
and ministry at a
school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high schools, and universities. They p ...

school
,
divinity school A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, i ...
,
university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...

university
, or
seminary A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or ...
. The term is sometimes a
synonym A synonym is a word, morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone ...
for theology as an academic, speculative pursuit, and sometimes is used for the study of applied theology and ministry to make a distinction between that and academic theology. While it most often refers to
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
study which is linked with the
professional degree A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is a degree that prepares someone to work in a particular profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hol ...
s for
ordained Ordination is the process by which individuals are Consecration, consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorization, authorized (usually by the religious denomination, denominational hi ...

ordained
ministry or related work, it is also used in an academic setting by other faith traditions. For example, in many traditional British public schools and universities, the term is often used in place of
Religious Studies Religious studies, also known as the study of religion, is an academic field devoted to research into religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there ...
, which deals with religion more broadly, to describe classes that include theology and philosophy in the context of religion as a whole, rather than just the Christian tradition.


Areas and specializations

Divinity can be divided into several distinct but related disciplines. These vary, sometimes widely, from church to church and from one faith tradition to another, and even among various programs within a particular church. A typical program will include many of the following:


Philosophical theology

*
Systematic theology Systematic theology is a discipline of Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christ ...
*
Dogmatic theology Dogmatic theology is that part of theology dealing with the theoretical truths of faith concerning God and God's works, especially the official theology recognized by an organized Church body, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Dutch Reformed Chur ...
*
Moral theology Ethics involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior.''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy''"Ethics"/ref> A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or life that is simply satis ...
or
Christian ethics Christian ethics, which is also referred to as moral theology, is a multi-faceted ethical system: it is a virtue ethic which focuses on building moral character, and a deontological ethic ( divine command theory) which assesses choices. It al ...
*
Natural theology Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
* Sacramental theology


Practice of worship

*
Liturgics Liturgics (or liturgiology) is the academic discipline dedicated to the study of liturgy (public worship rites, rituals, and practices). Liturgics scholars typically specialize in a single approach drawn from another scholarly field. The most comm ...
*
Homiletics Homiletics ( grc, ὁμιλητικός ''homilētikós'', from ''homilos'', "assembled crowd, throng"), in religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is ...
*
Sacred music Religious music (also sacred music) is a type of music that is performed or composed for religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, w ...


Ministry in the field

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Pastoral theology All branches of theology, whether theoretical or practical, purpose in one way or another to make priests, pastors, and others in a pastoral role "the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God" ( 1 Corinthians 4:1). Pastoral t ...
*
Pastoral counselingPastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herding livestock around open areas of land according to season A season is a division of the year based on changes in weather, ecology, and the number of daylight hours in a given region. On ...
*
Religious education In secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin ''saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation") is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion and irreligion. Anything that does not have an explicit reference ...
techniques


Scriptural study and languages

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Biblical studies Biblical studies is the academic application of a set of diverse disciplines to the study of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred ...
or
Sacred Scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a ...
*
Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroas ...
*
New Testament Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or ...
*
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
*
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...


Miscellany

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Canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
*
Church history __NOTOC__ Church history or ecclesiastical history as an academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as ...
*
Ecclesiology In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of the Church (congregation), Church, the origins of Christianity, its relationship to Jesus, its role in salvation, its ecclesiastical polity, polity, its Church discipline, discipline, its escha ...


Degrees

Studying divinity usually leads to the awarding of an
academic degree An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including Bach ...
or a
professional degree A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is a degree that prepares someone to work in a particular profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hol ...
. Such degrees, particularly in modern times the
Master of Divinity In the academic study of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
, are prerequisites for ordained ministry in most
Christian denominations Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...
and many other faith communities. The exception to this is all "plain" churches such as the
Amish The Amish (; pdc, Amisch; german: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German Swiss German (Standard German Standard High German (SHG), less precisely Standard German or High German (not to ...

Amish
,
Old German Baptist Brethren The Old German Baptist Brethren (OGBB) is a conservative Plain In geography, a plain is a flat expanse of land that generally does not change much in elevation. Plains occur as lowlands along valleys or on the doorsteps of mountains, as coas ...
,
Old Order Mennonite Old Order Mennonites ( Pennsylvania German: ) form a branch of the Mennonite tradition. Old Order are those Mennonite groups of Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North ...
,
Dunkard Brethren The Dunkard Brethren are a small group of primarily American conservative Schwarzenau Brethren The Schwarzenau Brethren, the German Baptist Brethren, Dunkers, Dunkards, Tunkers, or sometimes simply called the German Baptists, are an Anabaptist ...
, and many others. In fact, such churches hold to the belief that seminaries are an institution of man and not supported by Holy Scripture. Students earn such degrees at a free-standing
seminary A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or ...
, theologate or
divinity school A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, i ...
, or at a university.


List of degrees

The following is a list of most of the common degrees in divinity: *
Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to ...
in Theology (B.A. or A.B.) * Bachelor of Canon Law (J.C.B.; B.L.C.) *
Bachelor of Divinity In Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countri ...
(B.D.; B.Div.) * Bachelor of Hebrew Letters (B.H.L.) * Bachelor of Ministry (B.Min.) *
Bachelor of Religious Education The Bachelor of Religious Education (BRE) is an undergraduate degree. It offers a broad education in the areas of scripture Religious texts are texts related to a religious tradition. They differ from Literature, literary texts by being a compi ...
(B.R.E.) * Bachelor of Sacred Literature (B.S.Litt.) * Bachelor of Sacred Music (B.Mus. or S.M.B.) * Bachelor of Sacred Scripture (S.S.B.) *
Bachelor of Sacred Theology A bachelor is a man who is not and has never been married.Bachelors are, in Pitt Pitt most commonly refers to: *The University of Pittsburgh, commonly known as Pitt, a university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States **Pitt Panthe ...
(S.T.B.) * Bachelor of the History and Cultural Patrimony of the Church *
Bachelor of Theology The Bachelor of Theology degree (BTh, ThB, or BTheol) is a three- to five-year undergraduate degree An undergraduate degree (also called first degree or simply degree) is a colloquial term for an academic degree earned by a person who has complet ...
(B.Th.) * Lector of Sacred Scripture (S.S.Lect.) * Lector of Sacred Scripture (S.T.Lect.) *
Licentiate of Canon Law Licentiate of Canon Law ( la, Juris Canonici Licentiata;Licentiate of Sacred Music (S.M.L.) * Licentiate of Sacred Scripture (S.S.L.) *
Licentiate of Sacred Theology Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL) is the second cycle of studies of a faculty of theology offered by pontifical universities A pontifical university is an ecclesiastical university established or approved directly by the Holy See, composed of t ...
(S.T.L.) * Licentiate of the Cultural Patrimony of the Church * Licentiate of the History of the Church *
Licentiate of Theology The Licentiate of Theology or the Licence in Theology (LTh is the usual abbreviation) is a theological qualification commonly awarded for ordinands and laymen studying theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divin ...
(L.Th.) *
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA or AM) is the holder of a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a ...
in Theology (M.A. or A.M.) * Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters (M.A.H.L.—used by some Jewish schools) * Master of the Cultural Patrimony of the Church *
Master of Divinity In the academic study of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
(M.Div.—the most common degree taken before ministry in North America) * Master of Hebrew Letters (M.H.L.—used by some Jewish schools) * Master of Ministry (M.Min.) *
Master of Philosophy Master or masters may refer to: Ranks or titles * Ascended master, a term used in the Theosophical religious tradition to refer to spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarnations were ordinary humans * Grandmaster (chess), National Master, ...
with a specialization in Theology (M.Phil) * Master of
Rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civili ...

Rabbi
nic Studies (M.A.R.S.—used by some Jewish schools for
Rabbinic ordination ' (or or ; he, סמיכה) refers traditionally to the ordination within Judaism of a rabbi. In recent times, some institutions grant ordination for the role of ''hazzan'' (cantor), extending the “Investiture” granted there from the 1950s; ...
) * Master of Religious Arts (M.R.A.) *
Master of Religious EducationThe Master of Religious Education (MRE) is a terminal academic degree An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading ...
(M.R.E.) * Master of Sacred Literature (M.S.Litt.) * Master of Sacred Music (M.Mus. or M.S.M.) *
Master of Sacred Theology The Master of Sacred Theology ( la, Sacrae Theologiae Magister; abbreviated STM) is a graduate-level, North American, academic degree in theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of relig ...
(S.T.M.) * Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) *
Master of Theology Master of Theology ( la, Theologiae Magister, abbreviated MTh, ThM, or MTheol) is a post-graduate degree offered by universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and program ...
(M.Th., Th.M., M.S.T., or M.Theol.) * Master of Worship Studies (M.W.S.) *
Doctor of both laws A doctor of both laws, from the Latin ''doctor utriusque juris'', or ''juris utriusque doctor'', or ''doctor juris utriusque'' ("doctor of both laws") (abbreviations include: JUD, IUD, DUJ, JUDr., DUI, DJU, Dr.iur.utr., Dr.jur.utr., DIU, UJD and ...
octor of Canon and Civil Laws(J.U.D.; I.U.D.; D.U.J.; J.U.Dr.; D.U.I.; D.J.U.; Dr.iur.utr.; Dr.jur.utr.; D.I.U.; U.J.D.; U.I.D.) *
Doctor of Canon Law Doctor of Canon Law ( la, Juris Canonici Doctor, JCD) is the doctoral-level terminal degree in the studies of Canon law (Catholic Church), canon law of the Roman Catholic Church. It can also be an honorary degree awarded by Anglican colleges. It m ...
(J.C.D.; I.C.D.; D.C.L.; dr.iur.can.; D.Cnl.; D.D.C.; D.Can.L.) * Doctor of the Cultural Patrimony of the Church *
Doctor of Divinity A Doctor of Divinity (D.D. or DDiv; la, Doctor Divinitatis) is the holder of an advanced academic degree in divinity (academic discipline), divinity. In the United Kingdom, it is considered as an advanced doctoral degree. At the University of ...
(D.D.) * Doctor of the History of the Church *
Doctor of Ministry The Doctor of Ministry (abbreviated DMin or D.Min.) is a professional doctorate, often including a research component, that may be earned by a minister of religion while concurrently engaged in some form of Christian ministry, ministry. It is catego ...
(D.Min.) *
Doctor of Missiology The Doctor of Missiology (abbreviated DMiss or D.Miss.) is a doctoral degree in the field of missiology. North America The Doctor of Missiology (DMiss) is an advanced theological degree offered by a number of universities, divinity schools, and se ...
(D.Miss.) *
Doctor of Philosophy A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Throug ...
in Theology (Ph.D.) *
Doctor of Practical Theology The Doctor of Practical Theology (DPT, DPTh) is a professional doctorate developed for those seeking to apply theological principles to their professional practice. It should not be confused with a Doctor of Philosophy A Doctor of Philo ...
(D.P.T., D.Th.P.) * Doctor of Sacred Literature (D.S.Litt.) * Doctor of Sacred Music (D.M.A., D.S.M., S.M.D.) * Doctor of Sacred Scripture (S.S.D.) *
Doctor of Sacred Theology Doctor of Sacred Theology ( la, Sacrae Theologiae Doctor formerly Professor of Sacred Theology, is the final theological degree in the pontifical university system of the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church. The two terms were ...
(S.T.D.) *
Doctor of Theology Doctor of Theology ( la, Doctor Theologiae, abbreviated DTh, ThD, DTheol, or Dr. theol.) is a terminal degree A terminal degree is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher e ...
(Th.D., Dr. Theol., D.Theol.) * Doctor of Worship Studies (D.W.S.)


See also

{{portal, Christianity *
Doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

Doctorate
* Licentiate * History Curriculum at the Gregorian University *
Postdoctoral research A postdoctoral researcher or postdoc is a person professionally conducting research after the completion of their doctoral studies (typically a PhD A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical ...
Christian education Christianity studies *


References